Horsham woman ‘absolutely disgusted’ at firm’s plan to scrap paper finance statement

A Horsham woman has slammed a firm’s ‘thoughtless’ decision to scrap paper finance statements.

Friday, 14th August 2020, 9:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 11:17 am

Jasmine Court resident Beth Wakefield said FirstPort – the company which manages the apartments – plans to stop posting the annual budget and accounts pack to residents and move online.

The 82-year-old said if residents want a hard copy they will have to ask the manager to print one out – incurring extra costs as a result of using extra ink.

But FirstPort said the changes only apply to the yearly pack – not regular bills which will still be provided online or by post as requested by residents.

Beth Wakefield is cross that letter bills are being scrapped and she will have to have an online bill or incur extra costs for the manager to print her a paper copy. Pic Steve Robards SR2008134 SUS-200813-164104001

Beth raised concerns many residents would struggle with digital statements due to poor eyesight or not having access to the internet.

She also said FirstPort hadn’t taken into account the demographic of its residents

Beth added: “They don’t have a clue as to who and what sort of clients they have and what they’re dealing with.

“We pay their wages they should listen to us.

“It’s time somebody said stop. No more.”

She said she was ‘absolutely disgusted’ with the firm’s move and wrote a letter – signed by Jasmine Court’s residents – condemning the decision.

Beth added she feels FirstPort didn’t consult residents about the change and that the firm’s communication wasn’t up to scratch.

A spokeswoman for the management company said it was sorry to hear some residents are unhappy at the change in the way the annual budget and accounts pack is delivered.

She added: “We have had some really positive feedback from many residents and registration to our online service across our retirement communities has exceeded our expectations.

“Residents tell us they welcome the benefits of being able to access the information quickly and securely, particularly at a time when we are all trying to limit the amount of postal mail we receive to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading.

“We appreciate that not all our residents will be comfortable with this approach so there is an option to have a copy sent on email, or for the information to be printed out by their development manager.”